Download Bolingbroke: Political Writings by Henry Bolingbroke, David Armitage PDF

By Henry Bolingbroke, David Armitage

Bolingbroke: Political Writings offers the 1st obtainable, modernized and annotated texts of 3 of crucial works in eighteenth-century British political idea. those works, the Dissertation upon events, the letter "On the Spirit of Patriotism" and the assumption of the Patriot King jointly shaped the 1st coherent platform of a political competition circulation in Anglo-American politics and motivated not just radicals in Britain, however the American Founding Fathers and the French Revolutionaries.

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Without such a tension, either the materiality of the world would be re- 42 | Textual Conspiracies duced to a purely mute state of being “dust”—innocent but completely opaque to us—or it would become a mirror of our own delusion (a state of affairs that is constantly threatened by the phantasmagoria). ”58 Our intentionality is an imitation (an “illusory synthesis”) of the “genuine synthesis . . of life,” of the reconciliation between materiality and representation that we all strive for (idolaters and anti-idolaters alike).

Benjamin turns the failures of these revolutionaries into an asset for his (and, by extension, their) conspiracy. He employs what I call a strategy of the antidote in turning such failures and misrecognitions into the tools of combating the phantasmagoria. Like an antidote (a term Benjamin employs) our subjection to and participation in the phantasmagoria can become the basis for resistance. In my examination of Benjamin’s conspiracy, I will argue that his embrace of bohemianism, failure, and even, as we will see, the ‹gure of Satan points to his strategy of the antidote.

26 Walter Benjamin’s Conspiracy with Language | 33 Adorno focuses on Benjamin’s claim that Baudelaire’s wine poems were in effect “caused” by the state implementing a raise in the wine tax. ”27 Hence, in claiming that he ignores the social processes that are in effect, Adorno claims that Benjamin effectively abandons Marxism altogether. ”28 If we are inclined (as I am) to defend Benjamin against this charge, we must look deeper into what Benjamin is doing here in terms of the political utility of his inquiry into bohemianism.

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